Carp care - for a non-carp angler catching carp

OldTaff

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Many of you will be familiar with my return to fishing after a 15yr lay off to teach my son and the main venue we use - a free natural lake that has only carp in it.

We do fairly well, we catch lots of little ones on the whip (elasticated) which my boy loves to do and I‘ve had my fair share of larger ones on pellet waggler too. Last week I tried out a method feeder for the first time properly and bagged up with fish to 13lb but I know there are 20lb+ fish in there along with an abundance of mid to high teens as I have seen other anglers catches.

Thought I was doing OK until I came across this thread on here about carp mouth damage and other carp issues:


Having read through it it has me wondering if my technique is potentially detrimental to the fish I’m now targeting - am I fishing too heavy? Is my tackle imbalanced? Should I not be method feeding? Do I play a fish too long? Am I bullying fish in? Should I be carrying some form of carp “care kit”?

As my kit is what has been available within my limited funds rather than buying for specific species & venues my setup is as follows:

Ron Thompson 12’ ‘Panther’ feeder rod
Abu Cardinal 55 RD reel
8lb Drennan mainline
Guru QM1 16 hook 4” hooklength 7lb line
Drennan in-line 15g method feeder

I‘m fishing the softer of the two tips with the rod - the bites have been incredibly positive so far and a simple lift rather than a strike to set the hook has sufficed as I’m 25-30yds out max.

When it comes to playing the fish I certainly don’t pile in the pressure to drag it in but neither do I let it race all around the lake (too many potential snags such as reed beds), I simply keep on a steady pressure to steer it away from trouble until it’s ready to net. To date every fish I’ve caught on method has been neatly hooked in the mouth and no signs of blood or damage have been evident following unhooking. I am the only angler I’ve seen on the lake who uses an unhooking mat.

Found a YouTube video of Andy May playing carp on a long rod and honestly it is exactly what I do:


but then I’ve seen other videos saying the rod must be as close to the water as possible at all times and never lifted until at the net.


Confusion abounds and I’d appreciate a little steer on this matter please.


Karl
 

Silverfisher

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Sounds like you are doing the right sort of things to me. Carp are hardy fish anyway that’s why they’re popular with fisheries as much as anything. You shouldn’t be dragging in 10 pounders on gear designed for 30 pounders but you are far from doing that so I wouldn’t worry.
 

OldTaff

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Sounds like you are doing the right sort of things to me. Carp are hardy fish anyway that’s why they’re popular with fisheries as much as anything. You shouldn’t be dragging in 10 pounders on gear designed for 30 pounders but you are far from doing that so I wouldn’t worry.

Thanks for that - discarded tackle shows some people fishing there are on 20lb lines and size 4 hooks, fishing slices of floating bread is the kids number one technique that I have seen.
 

The Landlord

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You've got things spot on there, Taff. Hooklengths, mainline & hook size seems to be pretty much the same as most on here would use.
 

RedRidingHood

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When you're fishing 15lb Line, Size 6-8 Hooks literally pulling them in with heavy carp rods it's worth asking yourself this question.

Other than that, I've just found any heavily fished waters with big carp seem to have damaged mouths. There really doesn't seem to be any avoiding it if that's the case.
 

ukzero1

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@OldTaff

Nothing wrong with that set-up that I can see, I've seen anglers using tackle that's way over-gunned for the size of the Carp they catch. Most mouth damage is caused by these so called 'anglers' by using tackle like a crane and winch instead of rod and reel. For me, you should enjoy the fight and respect the fish, not try ripping their heads off by trying to get the fish in by cranking like crazy.
 

Dave

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The problem I've come across many times with novice anglers is their tackle is either undergunned or over gunned for the task.
Under and they break off generally leaving a fish trailing line and tackle, over and there is no give in their gear to play a fish, no shock absorbency in their rods, and the urge to 'winch in' because of such.
The common denominator is the need to strike with such venom to set the hook when in reality the hook is already in the fish's mouth and maybe just needs tension to set it - this is what causes the damage. Imagine a 2-3lb Carp (other species and sizes are available), happily having a munch on a pellet and woosh their head is ragged around and they're suddenly jettisoned through the water at break-neck speed by their lip. Something has to give in the end.
 

OldTaff

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Thanks for the responses - I’d hoped my setup was ok but had a bit of a wobble.

Some of the gear I have seen on on that water would be better suited to Margate beach :rolleyes:
 

Lee Richards

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Your set-up is fine OP and even if you caught smaller fish on a heavier set-up you can still play the fish with care.
Better to be overgunned and in control than undergunned and the fish controls the fight.
The skill of knowing how to play fish comes from personal experience.
 

rudd

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I’ll add, if you hook and land a lump and don’t have an unhooking mat, make sure you lay the fish in the net on grass to protect it.
Sorry - unless sitting on a box where fish are unhooked between legs in net - all anglers should have a Matt.
All clubs I have been in - Matt mandatory for ALL anglers.
You never know when a lump may show up and if weighing a net of fish, keepnet on one mat and weight sling on another.
You could make a couple out of this Roll Mat | Mountain Warehouse GB
 

rudd

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Many of you will be familiar with my return to fishing after a 15yr lay off to teach my son and the main venue we use - a free natural lake that has only carp in it.

We do fairly well, we catch lots of little ones on the whip (elasticated) which my boy loves to do and I‘ve had my fair share of larger ones on pellet waggler too. Last week I tried out a method feeder for the first time properly and bagged up with fish to 13lb but I know there are 20lb+ fish in there along with an abundance of mid to high teens as I have seen other anglers catches.

Thought I was doing OK until I came across this thread on here about carp mouth damage and other carp issues:


Having read through it it has me wondering if my technique is potentially detrimental to the fish I’m now targeting - am I fishing too heavy? Is my tackle imbalanced? Should I not be method feeding? Do I play a fish too long? Am I bullying fish in? Should I be carrying some form of carp “care kit”?

As my kit is what has been available within my limited funds rather than buying for specific species & venues my setup is as follows:

Ron Thompson 12’ ‘Panther’ feeder rod
Abu Cardinal 55 RD reel
8lb Drennan mainline
Guru QM1 16 hook 4” hooklength 7lb line
Drennan in-line 15g method feeder

I‘m fishing the softer of the two tips with the rod - the bites have been incredibly positive so far and a simple lift rather than a strike to set the hook has sufficed as I’m 25-30yds out max.

When it comes to playing the fish I certainly don’t pile in the pressure to drag it in but neither do I let it race all around the lake (too many potential snags such as reed beds), I simply keep on a steady pressure to steer it away from trouble until it’s ready to net. To date every fish I’ve caught on method has been neatly hooked in the mouth and no signs of blood or damage have been evident following unhooking. I am the only angler I’ve seen on the lake who uses an unhooking mat.

Found a YouTube video of Andy May playing carp on a long rod and honestly it is exactly what I do:


but then I’ve seen other videos saying the rod must be as close to the water as possible at all times and never lifted until at the net.


Confusion abounds and I’d appreciate a little steer on this matter please.


Karl
Nothing wrong with your set up.
I use two avons, 8lb main line for Specimen angling - fish from 1lb to 20lb+
 

OldTaff

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Unhooking mat was one of the the things I bought - can’t understand why anyone would not have one.
 

TrickyD

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Unhooking mat was one of the the things I bought - can’t understand why anyone would not have one.
I take one because of fishery rules. Don't use it, just rest the net across my knees, take out hook and return fish. Use one when getting larger fish- barbel, big bream and carp.
 

RedRidingHood

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I take one because of fishery rules. Don't use it, just rest the net across my knees, take out hook and return fish. Use one when getting larger fish- barbel, big bream and carp.

Same boat, That's Exactly what I do. It's very rarely I remove fish from the net on commercials especially so they're unhooked in the net then released back into the water. On the odd occasion I do remove a lump from the net for a picture but it's on a big patch of grass as low down as possible. I think I have a pretty decent grasp of how to hold fish so I never drop them anyhow.

Yes, I know the fish in my picture isn't massive but it's one of maybe 12-15 Carp in my local clublake so it's something of a mandatory picture when you manage to snag them.

Regardless; Most unhooking mats I see people with just seem to be fishery loophole sh*tters that offer absolutely no protection, Atleast no better if not worse than a really thick patch of grass anyways.
 

Silverfisher

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Must confess I don’t have an unhooking mat myself as I very rarely catch fish big enough to warrant one. Where they are mandatory I borrow one (don’t recall using one mine you) but normally I unhook fish in the net either between my knees or on long grass or reeds (natures unhooking mat) or in the margins.
 

ukzero1

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The problem with using grass is that it could damage the Carp's eyes, especially if there's sharp stalks where it's been cut, the same with reeds. That's why our lakes have the unhooking mat rule.
 

Sportsman

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Another point about mats, especially in summer. Make sure the mat has been wetted properly, with the bucket of water that you will naturally have next to it, for this very purpose.:whistle::)
 

Knfruitbat

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Another point about mats, especially in summer. Make sure the mat has been wetted properly, with the bucket of water that you will naturally have next to it, for this very purpose.:whistle::)
I find that fold up buckets are great for that very purpose, some even had a tab for tipping the water. Wife got me a Ridgemonkey one, has actually proved very useful, and can sit flat inside a holdall when not in use.
 
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